RCB stave off the CSK challenge comfortably

Royal Challengers Bangalore handed Chennai Super Kings their eighth loss of the season, despite Moeen Ali’s all-round performance. CSK were held to 160 in a 174-run chase at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Wednesday, thanks to a collective batting effort and Harshal Patel’s triple strike.

Du Plessis, Kohli provide good start

After RCB were called in to bat, the veteran opening pair of Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli put on a 62-run stand for the first wicket in only 44 balls. Kohli struggled to keep the tempo up even after getting underway with a flip for a boundary through deep backward leg. The RCB captain, who paced into his innings with ease, scored a lot of runs. He took Mukesh Choudhry for a ride in the fifth over, smashing two boundaries and a six to get RCB underway in their innings.

RCB stave off the CSK challenge comfortably

When du Plessis’ attempt to track down Moeen Ali backfired, the collaboration came to an end. He holed out to Ravindra Jadeja at deep mid wicket after mistiming a cross-batted drive. When Moeen cleaned up Kohli, the ball went through the space between his bat and pad, severely damaging RCB. Maxwell became a victim of miscommunication in running with Kohli between the two dismissals, finally reducing RCB to 79 for 3 by the end of the 10th over.

In the middle, Lomror and Patidar provide support.

Two domestic cricketers were tasked with keeping the tempo in the middle overs in a pretty star-studded batting line-up. In only 31 balls, Mahipal Lomror and Rajat Patidar skillfully stabilized the innings with a 44-run partnership for the fourth wicket. They began to speed after a steady start and took their opportunities against Maheesh Theekshana in the 15th over, selecting him for 13 runs.

They were unable to maintain the offensive, however. Patidar’s tenure was ended by a forward diving catch by Choudhary at deep square leg. Despite this, Lomror kept the onslaught rolling, hammering Dwaine Pretorius for 18 in the 18th over.

Finally, the exploits

In the penultimate over of the innings, Theekshana, who had been dismissed for 25 in his first three overs, put a stop to RCB’s momentum. The spinner took the wickets of Lomror and Wanindu Hasaranaga in quick succession, before finishing the over with Shahbaz Ahmed. Shahbaz was cleaned up for 1 while the first two were caught slogging to Ruturaj Gaikwad at long off. In the midst of it all, he only gave up two runs to end a great over.

The next day, though, the tables were turned. Dinesh Karthik, who was watching the batsmen from the other end, unleashed his death over hitting on Pretorius, smashing him for two sixes and picking him for 16 to help his team reach 173 for eight.

The chase was set up by Conway and Ruturaj.

With favorable batting conditions, Chennai Super Kings didn’t try too hard at a relatively easy goal. In the first over of the chase, Devon Conway used his sweeps and reverse sweeps to effectively counter Shahbaz, but Ruturaj Gaikwad took his time to settle in. Gaikwad, on the other hand, switched gears in the fifth over and creamed Mohammed Siraj for four consecutive boundaries. Conway got a little too excited and smacked Hasaranga for two sixes, ending the powerplay at 51 for no loss.

The two cruised through their alliance with ease, but soon after the powerplay, Gaikwad skied a draw off Shahbaz to long on, getting caught by the ezra bounce. Glenn Maxwell, who got Robin Uthappa and Ambati Rayudu removed in consecutive overs, might benefit from the extra bounce as well.

Moeen joins the fray with his bat.

Returning player Moeen Ali had already made an impact with the ball earlier in the day. After that, the all-rounder grabbed command of CSK’s run chase. After a half-century opening stand, the momentum had flipped in RCB’s favor as they were reduced to 75 for 3 in the 0th over. Moeen and Conway, on the other hand, made sure they maintained picking limits again and over. Conway was slog sweeping to the deep mid wicket fielder by Hasaranga shortly after his half-century.

Another downward spiral began with that dismissal. Ravindra Jadeja, who narrowly avoided being run out early in the innings, was unable to capitalize on the opportunity. Harshal Patel’s slower delivery threw him off as he skied a ball to Virat Kohli. Harshal also stopped Moeen’s threat in his next over. Moeen miscued a delivery wide outside the offstump to the fielder on the inner ring only a ball after carting the medium pacer for a six.

The chase is over

The chase was derailed by regular wickets taken by RCB in the final quarter of CSK’s innings. Even when the pitch improved for batting, CSK’s demise was precipitated by contested shot-making. In the end, the lower order was left chasing too much for their comfort due to a lack of batting muscle. Harshal managed to keep CSK from chasing the mark, keeping them to 160 for 8.

Brief Scores:

Royal Challengers Bangalore (173/8 in 20 overs; Maheesh Theekshana 3-27, Moeen Ali 2-28) defeated Chennai Super Kings (163/8 in 20 overs; Devon Conway 56, Moeen Ai 34; Harshal Patel 3-25, Glenn Maxwell 2-22) by 13 runs.